fall harvest party [eats]

Nicole threw an amazing fall harvest party last year and we could not stop talking about it for months! You can see it all here. When the leaves started to change we urged her to make the party an annual thing and she obliged. We collaborated with two of our favorite friends, Susan of Freshly Picked and Meta of One More Mushroom. Party throwing is so much more fun when you have lots of hands on deck! We have so much to share we’ve split it into a few days, but take a look at some of the food!

Spicy root beer went so well with our guests’ pots of chili – we held a cook-off (which also helps take some of the burden off feeding everyone) and our new favorite go-to, Mini Pumpkin Pies were perfect for walking around the party with.

You never know how fall weather will behave, but for the party it was warm and gorgeous. Bobbing for apples was refreshing as the sun was setting.

After the sun went down party-goers gathered around the fire for roasting s’mores! Susan and Meta brought the new stacker marshmallows, which are a new staple for making the perfect s’more! Buy them here.

Check back tomorrow for a look at the variety of games and activities we had for our family and friends!

Film and digital image credit: Carolee Beckham Photography

from head to toe: old navy + giveaway [closed]

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Megan!

Since launching Small Fry, our number one request has been for more fashion posts! We love dressing our boys and find a lot of joy and satisfaction in the process. While the boys are usually wearing a number of brands at once, for this new series, we wanted to show a head to toe look from one store at a time. Some inexpensive, some higher quality. Some big box stores, and some small and intimate boutiques. And of course, we’ll be showing an outfit for the little ladies too. For our first post of the weekly series we chose Old Navy. It is a wonderfully inexpensive option that stays on top of trends and always has a lot of fun options for both boys and girls. Would you like $100 to shop Old Navy? Keep reading…

Dash for under $40:

Hazel for under $60:One tip that we all live by is to shop in every department, most of our boys pants are from the girl’s department, and the boy’s section usually has great tees, sweaters and cardigans that would look darling on a little girl. Another great thing about Old Navy is there is virtually always a promotional sale going on either in-store or online, and markdowns happen every quarter.

Maybe the best thing of all are Old Navy Gift Cards, are we right? If you’d like $100 to shop Old Navy, leave a comment below! The winner will be chosen next Thursday October 18th, at 5:00 am MST.

For extra entries:

1. Follow Small Fry on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest.

2. Link Small Fry (@smallfryblog) in a tweet, Facebook or new blog post.

3. Instagram a picture of your favorite kiddo’s ensemble and mention @smallfryblog.

 Good luck and happy shopping!

ghostly footprint art

Before we share today’s no-store-needed craft project, are you ready to hear the winner of the Solly Baby Giveaway?

Congrats to Jessica L of Hello Rosie! Email us at hello at smallfryblog dot com with your mailing address! Thank you to all who entered, we really love Solly Baby and are so happy to see so many of you agree!

Now onto the project! We’ve seen a few amazing Halloween craft round-up links on Pinterest, but after sifting through hundreds, we decided to pick out the ones we could accomplish without a trip to the craft store, hardware store, grocery store and local blood bank. In short, you don’t need a craft room to make this happen. Or even a craft closet! Maybe just a craft drawer will suit you just fine.

Have you ever noticed how some mornings everyone wakes up totally grumpy? Sometimes all you need to reset the day is to exert a little creativity.

Ghost Foot Print Art

Emily did this with both her two and one year old boys and they loved it! Who doesn’t love squishing their feet into a puddle of creamy paint? Make sure you cover the surrounding area with newspaper or other easily trashable material. Coat your kid’s foot in paint and then let them step right onto the desired paper.

Once they’ve made their print, let the paint dry and then add the face! She let Hayes dot the green eyes, and then she used a toothpick for the black pupils. Like we said, this should be a no-store project, so use what paper, paint colors and supplies you have on hand! If your craft drawer is looking dry, you could probably make this with toothpaste.

Ghost Foot Print ArtEasy, easy, easy. More no-store craft projects to come!

 

food art

If you need to entice a picky eater, or just want to surprise your kids with an exciting lunch, today’s food art is your guy! You can’t beat the vibrant colors that come from fresh produce, so these are especially healthy options.

A whale PB&J (whale cookie cutter found at Copper Gifts), rainbow fruit salad, and a red pear hot hair balloon were on the menu one day a couple weeks ago and the boys haven’t stopped asking for whale sandwiches ever since! As always, if you make food art (or any of our other projects) post them to our Facebook Page, we’d love to see what you come up with!

candy corn suckers

More seasonal sweets today! The options are absolutely innumerable with this sucker recipe, the colors and candies you can combine would work for any holiday or celebration! For today’s batch, nothing seems more Fall appropriate than candy corn and  that natural amber hue. Handling hot sugar is not recommended with your tiny ones nearby, but adding the candies at the end is more than enough fun for them!

Nothing provides that sweet and rare satisfied silence from kids like a sucker.

Here’s the recipe (taken from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
10 drops orange food coloring
8 drops pure orange oil
10 lollipop sticks
Assorted candies, for decorating

Directions

Prepare an ice-water bath and line baking sheets with Silpats (if you don’t have Silpats you can coat baking sheets with vegetable oil.) Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Stir continuously to dissolve sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, stop stirring and clip on a candy thermometer. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture turns golden and reads 300-310 degrees Farenheit. Let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally wash the sides of the pan using a clean brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming.

Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the syrup to a 2-cup measuring device (make sure it’s heat proof!) Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir in the food coloring and orange oil until completely combined.

Make sure you’re absolutely ready for the next step because you’ll need to move fast. Pour ten 3-inch circles of syrup onto prepared baking sheets. Press in lollipop sticks. Using a toothpick tap the candies into the mixture and then let them harden and cool completely.

 

costume parade party

There’s no better way to catch a glimpse of your favorite kiddos in their costumes than by letting them parade around the yard with the Ghostbusters theme blaring. So this week we did just that. The name of this game was to keep it as low-key as possible so we could really enjoy their crazy costumed antics and the company of friends, too.

Halloween Party

Halloween Party Kids

Halloween Party Kids

After they paraded the yard, we handed out awards for their costumes. It was funny to get  input from their parents, moms always know exactly what to say to make their kids beam with pride. For Goldie being awarded “Fashion Cat” put her over the moon.

Costume Parade Awards

How lucky were we to spend the afternoon with superheroes, firefighters, ninjas, cupcakes, dragons, Dorothy, Jasmine, and a couple tough guys?

Costume Parade

Party Details

Since this was a post nap, pre-dinner soiree, we let them indulge in a one or two sweets. We suggest putting the treat table a bit higher up than 3 feet, or one or two sweets will quickly escalate.

Costume Parade Party Food

Orange Soda

And of course, if you’re in the market for a Costume Award, feel free to download ours below.

solly baby giveaway [closed]

Congratulations to Jessica L for winning this giveaway! It is now CLOSED, but please visit Solly Baby for more!

Solly Baby

One of our favorite things about the blog world is the ability to share favorite things, best practices, and little tips and tricks mothers use. There are a million ways to do just about anything when it comes to parenting, but sometimes it’s nice to hear what’s working for everyone else.

We have our own list of favorites and we are excited to share them with you! We hope you will love the features as much as we do.

We are huge fans of Solly Baby wraps, and the owner/designer, Elle.  Baby wearing is comfortable, warm and safe for the baby, and all about convenience and closeness for the parent, and with the multiple point support, you can comfortably wear it for hours. Some might look at it and think it’s too complex, but after a few tries it truly becomes second nature. Elle timed herself once and had it down in eleven seconds! All three of us have used Solly Baby wraps, and especially after having that second baby it becomes a real life saver! Baby Wearing Baby Wearing

Because we love Solly Baby so much, we teamed up with Elle to giveaway a wrap of your choice to a lucky reader! The colors and patterns are so amazing, we’re sure it will be hard to choose just one.

Here’s a few ways to enter:

1. Visit the Solly Baby shop and tell us in a comment which one you’d pick.

2. Like Small Fry Blog and Solly Baby on Facebook.

3. Link us in a new blog, Facebook post, or tweet.

4. Instagram a motherhood related picture of your choice and tag @smallfryblog.

If you know someone who would love it, you can enter on their behalf as well.

Leave a comment for each entry and we’ll pick at random, announce and contact the winner one week from today! (October 11th at 5:00 am MST.)

 

stamped pants

Printed pants have been popping up all over the place for several months now, and Emily had great success making a polka-dotted pair for herself early this Spring. It only took that long since to realize the same concept could be done for kids. Here’s how she did it:

There are endless options for stamping, we’ve seen the pencil eraser for a simple polka-dot pattern, but if you want to go more unique you can try your luck at a free-hand stamp.

Using a simple Pink Pearl eraser and an Exacto knife, Emily marked a chevron shape and then cut out the rubber around it leaving a raised pattern. Stamping one and then another directly underneath it, it creates a super cool military vibe.  If free-hand stamps aren’t your thing, she also made a darling pair for our little girlfriend Tess (pictured center) using one of her boys’ triangle blocks. All you’ll need is a piece of clothing to stamp, and an acrylic or fabric paint in your preferred color choice, and you’re good to go!

Emily’s tips: make sure your stamp’s edges (and your fingers, too) are clean before every stamp application. Excess paint will be the death of your project otherwise, but quickly saturating the unwanted paint in water and wiping it away should do the trick.

mini pumpkin pie

Do we all agree that everything tastes better in miniature form? It’s true. Not only that, but our kids get so excited about a dish a little more their size. That’s why we’re excited about taking a favorite fall treat, the classic pumpkin pie, and make it mini.

Jenna is the chef around here and she’s normally a made-from-scratch kind of girl, but when it comes to a quick & tasty activity for her kids in the afternoon, she’ll take shortcuts like the rest of us! Cooking with small kids has to be minimal prep and clean up to be enjoyable.

Here’s what Jenna did:

1. Purchase a mini 4 oz canning jar like this.

2. Buy Pillsbury pre-made pie dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

3. Make the pie filling from the back of the Libby’s can.

4. Roll out the dough and with the lid from the mason jar cut out the circular pie crust.

5. Place dough in the bottom of jar.

6. Pour filling in to jar, I like to keep just a little bit of space at the top.

7. Bake as instructed on Libby’s can, let cool & top with cream.

ENJOY!

chalkboard pumpkins

Kids just seem to make every holiday more fun, don’t they? We’ve been having a blast getting into the Halloween spirit and here’s an improvement on a classic activity.

Chalkboard Pumpkin

We are loving these chalkboard pumpkins for so many reasons: but first, hardly any mess! You can paint the pumpkins ahead of time and then let your kids chalk up, erase, and repeat all month long. With no cuts being made to the pumpkin, you don’t have to worry about the shrivel-effect and your painted pumpkins will last you until Christmas if needs be.

Chalkboard Pumpkins for Kids

While we had plans to show you an expertly drawn chalk jack-o-lantern face, these kids were so excited to get their hands on them that we just let the magic happen. Who knew we had neo-impressionistic geniuses in the Small Fry family? 😉

Chalkboard Paint Pumpkin